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Because of the Classes Reports in the last two issues of the Standard Bearer, a considerable amount of news for this column has been accumulating—so much so, in fact, that I hardly know where to begin. The flurry of news concerning current mission efforts of our churches is certainly of special interest at this time, so perhaps I should begin with that, and see what space yet remains for other items.
BASICALLY, A QUESTION OF EXEGETICAL METHOD In our previous editorial on this subject we pointed out the fact that from the outset the position of “The Free Offer of the Gospel” involves its proponents in flagrant contradictions concerning God’s will and concerning His attitude toward the reprobate.
The second sentence of Article 14 of the Belgic Confession begins with the conjunction, but! This places the sentence and subsequent thoughts in contrast to the former one. Thus it is. Having expressed the truth of God having created man in His own image, our fathers add, “But being in honor, he understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but willfully subjected himself to sin, and consequently to death, and the curse, giving ear to the words of the devil.
Three very small words. Two of them have only two letters. The third has only three. And yet these three small words are a powerful statement of the love of God in action.
We now propose to call the attention of our readers, the Lord willing, in our discussion of the history of dogma, to that doctrine known as Eschatology. Eschatology, the last locus of the six loci of our Reformed dogmatics, refers to the doctrine of the last things. Now it is true that this last locus of our Reformed dogmatics also treats the future state of the people of God and of those that perish and are lost. Strictly speaking, however, it is the doctrine that concerns, not the things that shall be in the hereafter, but the last things of...
In the days of Joseph there was a famine in the land of Egypt and surrounding countries. A seven-year famine! Enough to destroy the life of man and beast!But God . . .! But God prepared a “savior of the people,” so-called by Pharaoh, who re-named Joseph “Zaphnath-Paaneah.” God’s chosen people, Israel, cannot be destroyed by famine; they must show forth His praises in all the earth. Therefore God sent Joseph into Egypt with the express purpose of saving His people from a slow death by famine. In all this Joseph did not boast of his name and position.
Sometimes one live long enough in the complexity of the Jamaica churches to come to the solid conviction that he has come to the bottom of the problem from which many difficulties stem; that he has finally come to the point where he can lay his finger on it, and see the difficulties in proper perspective. Not only does he see the difficulties, but he also sees where the solution lies, if any.
[Introductory Note: The contents of our column this issue are the substance of a speech delivered for a Mr. and Mrs. League Meeting held last month. Since the speech is concerning a matter which properly belongs to subjects treated in this rubric, we thought it appropriate to include a written draft in our column.
Question The final question from my Canadian questioner is as follows: “On the other hand, is it not so that the atoning work of our Lord and Savior is ‘sufficient’ for all men? See Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 15, Answer 37; Canons of Dordt, II, 3; and I Tim 2:6, where we read, ‘Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.’